Why play online Baccarat?
Play whenever, wherever
Online baccarat games give you the freedom to play this casino classic whenever you feel like it. As long as you’ve got a decent internet connection, you’ll be able to enjoy baccarat on your phone and tablet as well as your desktop.
Perfect for all budgets
Baccarat is traditionally associated with high stakes, but thanks to online casinos, players of all bankrolls can enjoy this game. You can play animated titles from just 10p per bet, while there are live games with a minimum bet of just £1. Add in free online baccarat and there’s something for everyone.
Easy to play
Unlike other strategy-based card games, baccarat is easy to get to grips with. It doesn’t get much simpler than this – all you do is place a bet at the start of each round and watch as the action unfolds.
History of baccarat
While the origins of baccarat aren’t completely clear,we do know is that it’s been around for at least a few hundred years, making it one of the oldest casino games. Baccarat really started to grow in popularity in the 1990s, and has since established itself as one of the most popular casino games around.
Like blackjack, baccarat is a card comparing game. However, there’s no element of skill involved in baccarat. The game is simple – players bet on either their own hand or the banker’s, and whichever hand is closer to nine wins. The player’s decision doesn’t have any impact on the hand’s value, so betting on baccarat is comparable to deciding whether to bet black or red in roulette.
How to play Baccarat
It’s pretty easy to get to grips with online baccarat games. You’re playing against the banker, and the the aim is to bet on the hand you think will be closest to 9. One thing that sets baccarat apart from other table games is that you have the chance to bet on the banker’s hand as well as your own.
Here’s how a game of baccarat might play out:
- First bet. The game starts with the player betting on which hand they think will have the highest value before the cards are drawn. There are three possible outcomes: player win, banker win, or a tie.
- Cards are dealt. The players and the banker are both dealt two cards, both of which are face up. If either hand totals a 8 or 9, the game ends there. Hitting an 8 or 9 on the first two cards is known as a ‘natural’
- Player’s deal. If neither hand has a total of 8 or 9 the game continues. If the player’s hand has a total of 0-5, a third card is dealt, but the player will stand if their hand is worth 6 or 7.
- Banker’s deal. If the player stands, it moves over to the banker and the same rules apply.If a third card was drawn for the player, the rules become a bit more complicated:
- If the banker’s total is 0-2, a card is drawn regardless of the value of the player’s third card.
- If the banker’s total is 3, a third card is drawn unless the player’s third card was 8.
- If the banker’s total is 4, a third card is drawn if the player’s third card was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If the banker’s total is 5, a third card is drawn if the player’s third card was 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If the banker’s total is 6, a third card is drawn if the player’s third card was 6 or 7.
- If the banker’s total is 7, the banker stands.
- Collect your winnings. Once all of these rounds have been completed, the hand closest to 9 wins the round and the game restarts. You’ll be notified if your bet has won, and any winnings will be credited to your account.
Baccarat hand values
Card values in baccarat aren’t quite the same as other casino card games. Tens and face cards are all worth zero, aces are worth one and all other cards are worth their face value.
The most important rule to understand is that a hand’s value is calculated by taking the right number of the total sum. So if a player has a 9 and 8, the hand is worth 7. This is because 9+8=17 and 7 is the rightmost number of 17.
The highest possible baccarat hand is 9, so there’s no chance of going bust like there is in blackjack.
Most baccarat games at UK online casinos have the same rules, but there are a few variations that are played across the world. Let’s take a look at the most popular baccarat variations.
Punto banco is the version played at most UK casinos, and it’s often just titled ‘baccarat’. In this variation, six or eight decks are used. Bets are placed at the start of each round before the players and the banker are dealt two cards each. If neither hand totals eight or nine, a third is dealt to each hand to decide the winner.
Chemin de fer
This six-deck version is played in brick and mortar casinos but is rarely found online. Whereas land-based punto banco is run by a dealer, it’s the players that deal in Chemin de fer, with the role rotating each round. Players also have the choice of whether to accept or reject the third card, which introduces an element of strategy to this variation.
Baccarat banque is similar to Chemin de fer, but the banker remains the same unless they retire, exhaust their funds or all have dealt all cards. This three-deck baccarat variation is usually a high stakes game as the banker is chosen based on which player is willing to risk the largest wager.
This variation is fairly common at online casinos and is essentially the same as punto banco, also using six or eight decks. The main differences are that it is played on a smaller table and with lower stakes.
Start playing online baccarat today
- Compare casinos. We’ve picked out the best baccarat sites for out genius list. Check out our casino reviews to find out bonuses, banking options and much more.
- Sign up. After you’ve found your ideal site, it’s time to create an account. Our link will take you straight to the registration page so that you can get signed up within minutes.
- Deposit . If you want to play real money games you’ll need to fund your account. Simply head over to the cashier page and follow the on-screen instructions to make your first deposit.
- Play. Once you’ve got a bankroll to work with make your way to the games library, choose your baccarat game and start playing. Have fun!
Live dealer baccarat
Want to enjoy a live game of baccarat in the comfort of your own home? You can, thanks to live dealer baccarat. Live dealer variations are available at UK’s top casino sites, and are streamed from casinos or specially-built studios. Interact with the dealer and other players through the live chat feature, which makes for an immersive and authentic casino experience.
But live dealer games aren’t for everyone- these games are pretty much exclusive to real money players and tend to have higher minimum bets than other online baccarat games.
Just like with any other casino game, you can play free baccarat games at many top baccarat sites. These are ideal if you simply want to enjoy baccarat for fun, or if you’re a casino newbie and want to get to grips with baccarat rules and strategy before you put real money on the line. It goes without saying that you won’t hit the big bucks playing baccarat for free, but that isn’t what it’s all about.
Software developers are making it easier and more enjoyable to play baccarat online, or any other online casino game, on your mobile. Casino software houses aren’t just optimising existing games for mobile play, they’re also creating new games specifically for use on mobile devices. Using HTML5, mobile baccarat games make for seamless gaming across devices, whether you’re playing on desktop, mobile or tablet.
The UK’s top baccarat sites all have mobile-friendly websites or native mobile apps, adding to this mobile gaming experience. You’ll have the same choice of baccarat variations, including live dealer games and fast payment methods when you’re playing on your mobile.
Baccarat odds and house edge
Whenever you’re playing casino games it’s always good to have an understanding of the odds, payouts and the house edge. These are the need-to-know figures for online baccarat:
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Baccarat is determined entirely by luck, so there’s no strategy that will influence the hands that are dealt. However, some players employ betting strategies as a way of managing their wagers and bankroll. Let’s check out a few popular baccarat betting systems:
This is a negative progression system often used in chance-based games, such as craps and roulette. Players using this system double their bet after each loss while returning to the original bet after a win. The idea is that you’ll win back your losses once you land a winning bet. The downside is that a run of losses can see you risking big wagers.
The Paroli system is a positive betting progression and is basically the opposite to the Martingale, so you keep the same bet after a loss but double each time you win. It’s designed to capitalise on a winning streak, but like the Martingale has no effect on the house edge and is merely a way of managing your bankroll.
The 1-3-2-4 system
This system works by increasing your wager by a different amount after each win. Your first bet is one unit, then three, then two, then four. So if your betting unit is £5, you’d bet £5, £15, £10, £20, then go back to the start.
The idea is that if you win the first two bets you’ll make a profit even if your third bet loses. This is true, but only if you’re planning on playing just four rounds. As soon as the system starts again, a series of losses can wipe out any previous wins.
Baccarat software developers
Most of the top casino software developers have tried their hand at baccarat, so there’s a variety of titles to choose from. We’ve picked out the top baccarat software developers:
Evolution Gaming offers a top selection of exciting live dealer baccarat games. Players can enjoy Live Baccarat Squeeze, where cards are dealt slowly for added tension. For speed merchants, Live Speed Baccarat completes each round in under just 30 seconds.
Playtech is another big hitter with a selection of baccarat titles. Live VIP baccarat is designed for high rollers, while Live Mini Baccarat has low betting limits. Playtech has also developed a top quality animated baccarat game.
Microgaming is an industry leader, so it’s natural that it has a top baccarat offering. As well as traditional and high stakes software games, players can enjoy Baccarat Gold. This title retains the standard gameplay but has added animations that create a more realistic gaming experience.
How does stretching out your baccarat bankroll with a casino bonus sound? Let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
Many baccarat sites offer matched deposits to new players, and these reward you a percentage of your first deposit as bonus funds. For example, if you see a ‘50% match up to £100’, you could deposit £200 to get a £100 bonus, or £100 to get a £50 bonus.
These bonuses aren’t found as often as matched deposits, but they’re out there. A no deposit does what it says on the tin – you get a bonus simply for signing up. As you can probably imagine, these are a lot smaller than matched deposits, so expect them to max out at £5-£10.
Many of the best baccarat sites offer regular promotions for existing players. Loyalty points are one such offer – these are gained from playing regularly and can be redeemed for bonus funds. Some casinos also have cashback deals, which reward back a percentage of your spending over a set period of time.
Keep in mind that baccarat bonuses come with strings attached. Most have wagering requirements, which means you have to wager your bonus funds a certain number of times before any returns can be withdrawn. While it’s normal for wagering requirements to sit at around, it can be difficult to cash in bonus winnings even when you’re playing with a low wagering casino bonus.
You should also know that bets placed on table games such as baccarat often don’t count 100% towards the wagering requirements. At some sites 10%-20% of baccarat wagers will contribute, but it’s not uncommon for casinos to exclude these bets all together.
Pretty much every online casino bonus has a time limit in which you’ll need to use your bonus funds and complete the wagering requirements. Don’t quite manage it? Your bonus, and any associated winnings will expire. These time limits vary between online casinos, while some sites give players 30 days, others give just a couple.
How to find your ideal baccarat site
You can easily find the UK’s top baccarat sites in our genius list, but you’ll still need to pick out your favourite. These are a few things to keep in mind:
We at Casino Genius take licensing very seriously, so we only recommend casinos that hold a UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) license. This ensures the baccarat games you play are fair and that your information is secure. If you do browse other sites, always check for the UKGC logo and licence number.
Bonuses are a handy way to give your baccarat bankroll a healthy top up. Of course, different players are suited to different bonuses – you may be after low wagering requirements, or you may prefer longer time limits. Browse and compare casino bonuses so that you know you’re getting the best bonus for your gameplay preferences.
Not all baccarat sites offer the same variations, so take a peek at casino games libraries to help make your decision. You don’t always need to create an account to do this – simply visit the casino’s site and check out what’s on offer.
The payment methods accepted by one casino aren’t always accepted by another. This is particularly true for e-wallets such as PayPal and Neteller, bitcoin and pay by phone bill. While you’re at it, it’s worth checking the withdrawal times to make sure that cashing out your winnings isn’t going to be a nuisance.
It’s good to know what kind of support different sites offer, just in case you have any queries. While the best online casinos offer 24 hour customer support via telephone, email and live chat, you can’t count on all sites to be quite so comprehensive.
Ready to play?
Now that you’re an online baccarat genius, you’re probably raring to give a go for yourself. Use our genius list to check out the best baccarat sites in the business. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re sure you’ll find a casino that suits you down to the ground.